HFN Staff Report
LAS VEGAS–The Las Vegas Summer Market was a sea of newness.
New Building C, new exhibitors, new products and new promotions to spur sales were the talk of the desert.
In addition to some 300 new exhibitors, many existing tenants have relocated, expanded or otherwise remodeled their spaces, often with dramatic results. And while most of that activity is in the new building, there were some serious upgrades of spaces in buildings A and B as well.
But Building C certainly got the most attention at the market. Aico opened one of the biggest showrooms in the entire complex on the 16th floor, relocating from Building A. The new space features a waterfall and a dramatic marble entryway, complete with huge video screens contrasted with Greek statuary.
Another Building C debut was Lexington Brands, which had shown in a temporary space six months ago. The centerpiece of the new showroom is the Donald Trump Home collection, with “The Donald” himself on hand for an official ribbon cutting.
Other boldface names working the show included B. Smith, Kathy Ireland, Nicole Miller, Kelly Preston, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. The opening night of the show featured a well-attended performance by Rod Stewart.
The market looked for promotions and market specials to drive traffic in a rather lackluster business environment.
If every single exhibitor wasn’t offering a market special of some sort, it only seemed as if they were.
“Everything we’re doing at this market is for a promotional position,” said Gerry Borreggine, president of Therapedic. “We’re hitting velocity price points and the consumers are responding.”
CMI was working to bring in extra business with huge savings, offering 50 percent off stock orders of $1,000 or more on its Simply Home line of outdoor rugs, said John Bradshaw, vice president of sales. Buyers could order any standard pattern or create their own using any of the line’s 32 colors.
Some of the wildest promotions were happening in the lighting, wall decor and decorative accessory showrooms.
Sterling Industries was running 20 percent off everything, with a $1,000 order at this market. For $2,500 orders, the customer had a choice of 20 percent off or free freight, but the most attention-getting was Sterling’s early-bird specials of up to 65 percent off 235 decorative accessory items from 9 a.m. to noon during market. The discount went down to 35 percent off after noon.
Dale Tiffany also upped its promotions given this tough economy. Recognizing that traffic is light during summer markets, the company ran a special from June 15 to Aug. 15 that was good both at markets and in the field.
“We’re lowering our free-freight minimum from $2,000 orders to $1,500, in a progressive, tiered program,” said Ken Kallett, executive vice president of Dale Tiffany.
For $3,000 orders, customers got free freight, a 5 percent discount and 60-day payment terms; for $5,000 orders, they got free freight, a 10 percent discount and 90-day terms; and for $10,000 orders, they got free freight, a 15 percent discount and 120-day terms.
“Because business is tough, we’re doing it in the field as well, but cutting it off Aug. 15,” Kallett said.
“We’re trying to be aggressive without being over-aggressive,” Kallett said. “Our product’s always been priced to sell at regular price.
We’re trying to react to conditions in the field,” he added. “Business is slow. Reps are having a tough time getting orders in the field.”